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EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is George Bailey's weekly report "Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch" about his and his wife's efforts to teach their kids financial freedom.
In case you hadn't noticed, it was Halloween the other day. The giveaway was that there were children running, screaming, terrorizing adults, and begging for sweets. In other words, it was like any other day. Oh, and they were wearing costumes, which narrows it down to almost any other day. Come to think of it, were it not for adults playing dress up along with their children, I'm not sure whether the context would be enough for me to make a meaningful distinction.
But the candy, the candy, the candy. So, so much candy. We're buried in it in our household currently, and I'm trying to see the bright side. If there's any advantage to having so much of the stuff around, it's the leverage you get over your children.
Leverage is an important concept in business negotiation. It's your tool for getting other people to agree to your terms of the deal. For approximately the next two weeks the terms of the deal are going to be that my children will not have a single bit of candy until they've met my parental demands. I'm going to milk their Halloween spoils for all they're worth.
Doing so requires that my children have turned all ownership of any sweet item over to Mom and Dad. Fortunately for both them and for me, I'm not one of those parents who picks over their children's candy to pilfer the best of it before leaving them with Smarties, Nerds, and candy corn. My policy is that the entire hoard is theirs to enjoy.
However, the timing of that enjoyment is now within my control. It is a tool that I'm going to use to get them to eat their broccoli, wipe the table, do the dishes, and many other wonderful and horrible things.
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